Of all the features you have to pay attention to when prospecting the market for a new microscope, its magnification capabilities are by far the most important detail you ought to give some thought to. Sure, the construction quality, the material that the optics have been made of, as well as several other factors are also worth considering, but the magnification abilities seem to be on top of the others.
In fact, this is the exact detail that makes the difference between one microscope and the other. These days, you might have noticed the rise of handheld USB microscopes that simply have to be plugged into your computer and you’re all set to go. What this means is that you won’t have to spend a lot of time trying to understand how the product works and since most of these compact models come with an integrated camera, you’ll even be able to take a shot of your specimen right off the bat. Needless to say, these handheld models have lower resolution compared to compound microscopes.
If you’re looking for a good unit to use in the comfort of your home, when you’re trying to explain to your kids the basics of using such a device, I would recommend getting a stereo microscope or a dissecting one. The first usually have magnification ranges from 40x to 400x tops whereas the second can magnify the image up to 230x tops.
Compound models, on the other hand, are the real winners if you’re looking for a versatile choice that does the trick for most samples. For example, an AmScope model that has a magnification range of 40x to 2000x ( more details you can find here) will let you look at a plethora of items, inanimate objects, living insects, tissues, cells, and even let you have a peek at the germ that might exist in that particular cell. This is why I think that looking at your requirements at the beginning of your buying journey is a part of your decision-making process that must not be overlooked. As you can imagine, these compound alternatives can take a toll on your budget as I have seen many products that cost up to two and even three thousand dollars. Needless to say, they come with a myriad of amazing features, but unless you work in a lab where you can use these capabilities, I wouldn’t recommend such a pricey option.
Stereo microscopes are also suitable for educational purposes, and even more so for parents who homeschool their kids. With their help, you’ll be able to show your son or daughter the structure of plants, insects, and other specimens. That’s what I personally recommend for home users, particularly as this type seems to be somewhat budget-friendly when compared to its compound counterpart.